UEL Mini Olympics
By Sabine Howe
Each year at MCS, our wonderful UEL students participate in eight different events and compete against one another in the spirit of the Olympics. Individual and team events are presented. Our Olympics are usually held in April, and we begin to actively train for this event one month before in our P.E classes. It takes a lot of preparation and “teamwork” by all of the classroom teachers. Each child chooses a partner to work with, and they choose a country of their choice to represent. The idea is to represent as many different countries as possible. In their classrooms, the children must study the country they choose, find out interesting and unique things about their chosen countries, and do a presentation (or report) of their country to their class. A fun part of this project is to paint colorful country flags and to have these flags ready for our big event. T-shirts are also designed in their country’s colors.
On the day of the event, we have official Opening Ceremonies were the students march in alphabetical order of their country (just like in the real Olympics), to Olympic themed music complete with dancers and gymnasts. This is a day of pure joy and togetherness for our entire community to be a part of and to cheer on their athletes. It is extremely colorful and represents what we are all about …team and community.
The events start off with the One-Lap Sprint Race around our school track. Then we move on to the Monkey Bar Hang to see who can hold on the longest! Next comes the Two-Lap Distant Race followed by the Long Jump, then the Field Sprint (a straight speed race from one length of the field to another), and the Team relay races. In our relay races, we mix the countries together! Next comes the beloved Coconut Toss, our version of the shot put.
To end our Olympic events we finish with our Montessori Marathon (just like the final event of the real summer Olympics). Our MCS Marathon is one full mile in length, and we even play songs such as Chariots of Fire, The Long Way Home, Don’t Stop Believing, and other motivational music for the masses! In this final event, the entire school is invited to join in if they wish, and some of the younger children are extremely excited to participate and be a part of the Montessori Marathon (as are willing teachers.)
Finally, we end this wonderful event with the Closing Ceremonies, where the athletes are able to circle the track one last time and show off their colorful flags and T-shirts as a culmination of their hard work and preparation.
We thank our amazing community for their cheers and support. The faces on the spectators during the entire event (especially the little ones)……priceless.